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Thompson scores musical find in the stacks

Music professor discovers little-known sextet in MIT's Lewis Music Library
Professor Marcus Thompson in the Music Library
Professor Marcus Thompson in the Music Library
Boston Music Intelligencer Staff Photo

"There it was sticking out of library shelf at MIT. I had never heard of the piece."

That's how Marcus Thompson, professor of music in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and the new artistic director of the Boston Chamber Music Society (BCMS) found Penderecki's Sextet for Piano, String Trio, clarinet and horn, which he's programmed for BCMS' Nov. 22 concert at Harvard's Sanders Theater.

"His music is very powerful," Thompson said in an interview with the Boston Music Intelligencer. "On first hearing I was hungry for more. I replayed the recording almost disbelieving that I had found such a masterpiece that no one else knew!"

In January, the BCMS will be in residence at MIT, presenting a series of multi-media concerts at Kresge Auditorium titled "Winter Festival."

"These concerts were assembled around the subject of 'time' and are complemented by a series of free afternoon forums with scientists, artists, and scholars, discussing various aspects related to their work on time and the music," Thompson told the Boston Music Intelligencer. "In the course of the week, as part of this residency, during MIT's Independent Activities Period, the rehearsals will be free and open to the public as well as the MIT community, and there will be opportunities to discuss the music with the BCMS performers," Thompson continued.

The Council for the Arts at MIT purchases BCMS tickets as part of its Student Excursion Series. A limited number of tickets for the concerts on Oct. 18, Nov. 22, Dec. 12 and Feb. 21 will be available for full-time MIT students. Watch for ads in The Tech or the Office of the Arts' Free Tickets web site for notification when they are available.

For the full Boston Music Intelligencer interview with Thompson, see

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